In 1957 Dr. Seuss wrote of a villain who stole holiday boxes and packages, but today villains are out for more than precious gifts and who-pudding. Cyber hackers take advantage of holiday shoppers and see the holiday season as an ideal time to steal credit card information and sensitive data. This holiday season, follow these tips from The Office of Information Technology to keep your information safe online.
Use credit cards rather than debit cards when shopping online. If your information is compromised, a credit card company may be quicker to refund your credit than a bank would be to issue a refund from your checking account.
When you’re shopping online, make sure you are shopping on a secure site. The URL should include “https.” The “s” stands for secure. It should also have a lock icon in the URL bar.
Use a personal email for shopping online. Use your Gmail, Yahoo or other personal account for your online shopping. Do not open up your ua.edu or crimson.ua.edu account to unnecessary threats.
If your bank or credit card company offers two-factor authentication, like DUO, use it! Many online banking sites offer two-factor verification. Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Discover, Wells Fargo all offer two-factor. Check your bank’s website to learn more.
Keep an Eye Out for Phishy Emails
Check the from email address. If you receive a purchase confirmation or tracking number via email, it should have the company’s name in the “from” email address. For example, if you receive an email from UPS alerting you that your package has shipped, it should come from ups.com.
Hover before you click. When you do get a confirmation or tracking email, hover over a link before clicking it. This will show you where a link is taking you before you go. This also works on your phone or tablet – just hold your thumb on the link and a bubble will appear with the URL.
Add DUO to a New Device
If you made the nice list, and receive a new smartphone or tablet over the holiday break, be sure to add the device to your DUO account to enable it for two-factor authentication. Step-by-step instructions are available at https://oit.ua.edu/service/duo-tutorials/
Stay smart and safe online this holiday season. The IT Service Desk will be closed Dec. 21, 2016, through Jan. 2, 2017. For more information, visit oit.ua.edu/security.